TPL Awards Barnegat Bay Grants (NJ)

Ocean County, NJ, April 7, 2005 – The nonprofit Trust for Public Land announced today the recipients of the eleventh annual Barnegat Bay Environmental Grants. Eight local groups were awarded $24,425 from a state fund administered by the Trust for Public Land (TPL), a nonprofit organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and natural areas.

“These grants give organizations a chance to do really wonderful programs that benefit the Barnegat Bay,” said said Kathy Haake, Project Manager for the Trust for Public Land.

Several educational projects received funding this year and grants were awarded for projects including wastewater management, natural resource interpretation, and special events including environmental education. Since 1994, 74 grants have been awarded. Funds for the grants program are provided as part of a $2.5 million contribution by the Ciba-Geigy Corporation to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

This year’s grant recipients are: Alliance for a Living Ocean ($3,500), Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions ($3,500), Barnegat Bay Decoy & Baymen’s Museum, Inc. ($1,500), Friends of Island Beach State park, Inc. ($3,080), Island Heights Cultural & Heritage Association, Inc. ($2,000), Jersey Shore Council, Boy Scouts of America ($4,375), New Jersey Division: Society of American Foresters ($4,970), and Pinelands Preservation Alliance ($2,500).

“Each year, the bay gets a boost from projects funded by this program. It is an honor to be a part of making that happen,” said Haake.

The Trust for Public Land is a national nonprofit land conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and other natural places, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Since its founding in 1972, TPL has protected more than two million acres of land. With a state office in Morristown, TPL has protected more than 20,000 acres in New Jersey, including approximately 10,000 acres in the Barnegat Bay watershed. The Bay Fund is one component of TPL’s Barnegat Bay Initiative—a long-term protection strategy for the bay, including public education, scientific research, land planning and acquisition of critical properties. TPL’s scientific framework for prioritizing sites for protection grew from The Century Plan, published in 1995 and its sequel, Beyond the Century Plan (1997).

Barnegat Bay Environmental Grant Fund 2005 Recipients

Alliance for a Living Ocean: $3,500 to support ALO’s “Eco Tour of Barrier Island” program. The goal of this program is to educate all ages about the Barnegat Bay estuary, emphasizing the important role every individual plays in protecting the barrier islands and determining the health of the entire marine environment. The eco tour helps to show the participants how and why a coastal/estuarine environment is productive and important to preserve. Contact: Carol Elliott (609) 492-0222

Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions: $3,500 to support a program that will urge municipalities to update wastewater management plans (WMPs) through education on the significance of accurately delineated sewer service areas and the procedures to amend plans. Amended WMPs will reduce expansion of sewers and decrease sprawl that produces nonpoint source pollution. They will also promote septic densities that protect water resources. Contact: Sandy Batty (973) 539-7547

Barnegat Bay Decoy & Baymen’s Museum, Inc.: $1,500 to 1) increase student knowledge of wildlife/habitat diversity found in Barnegat Bay Watershed via a unique, hands-on traveling trunk; 2) increase educator awareness of the importance of natural heritage through provision of professional development workshops; and 3) encourage educators to plan field trips, outreaches, and/or other activities related to natural wonders of the Barnegat Bay Watershed. Contact: Patricia Schuster (609) 296-8868

Friends of Island Beach State Park, Inc.: $3,080 toward the hire of a qualified seasonal interpreter with a strong science background and the ability to effectively communicate with visitors of all ages. The interpreter will supervise daily aquatic programs, assist with weekly kayak tours, and assist in the training of new and less experienced interpreters. Providing high caliber seasonal programs about Barnegat Bay and the watershed is the primary objective. Contact: Diane Bennett-Chase (732) 793-1698

Island Heights Cultural & Heritage Association, Inc.: $2,000 toward the first annual town-wide Earth Day celebration/workday in 2006, involving Island Heights clubs and organizations. Each group will sponsor a “station” in the Earth Day schedule of events. The objective is to gain community support for sound environmental practices and provide a forum for questions and hands-on experiences. This acknowledgment of Earth Day will serve as a model for other communities as well as an opportunity to foster environmental awareness. Contact: Betsy Hyle (732) 831-1060

Jersey Shore Council, Boy Scouts of America: $3,375 to develop Barnegat Bay-specific education programs for the newly expanded Webelos Scout Resident Camp. Webelos Scouts are the boys in the last stage of Cub Scouting and are the future of Boy Scouting. Contact: Christopher Street (732) 349-1037

New Jersey Division: Society of American Foresters: $4,970 to provide interpretive opportunities and hands-on activities within a hardwood swamp located in the headwaters of the Toms River watershed, accessible via the existing project learning trail of the Forest Resource Education Center Contact: Terry O’Leary (732) 928-0987

Pinelands Preservation Alliance: $2,500 toward the “Barrens to Beaches” project, which aims to train high school teachers on the use of a newly developed curriculum designed to teach high school students about the relationship between land use and the ecology of the inter-related ecosystems that make up the Pine Barrens and the Barnegat Bay/Little Egg Harbor estuary. Contact: Carleton Montgomery (609) 859-8860